Team owner Rob Dyson and driver Jan Magnussen were the surprised recipients of two American Le Mans Series special awards voted on by fans and presented at the series annual post-season banquet.

Dyson, owner of a two-car race team, received the coveted 'From the Fans' award, presented annually to a person or group for outstanding contributions to sportscar racing in the past year.

Dyson's two Lola EX257-MG Prototypes rose from the LMP 675 class to challenge for - and ultimately beat - the larger LMP 900 cars for an overall race win at Sears Point, where James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger held off the more powerful Audi R8s, and challenged on many other occasions. In addition, Chris Dyson won the LMP 675 driving championship for 2003 in one of the Dyson Racing entries.

Magnussen, who appeared to be out of a drive until being snapped up by the Prodrive Ferrari team midway through the season, received the series' first-ever 'Most Popular Driver' award.

The Dane, who has raced in the ALMS since the series was created in 1999, joined the Prodrive team in July and played a major part in the increasingly heated battle in the GTS class between Ferrari and Corvette. The racing action captured the attention of sportscar racing fans around the world, with Magnussen's hard-charging driving style and easy demeanour off the track continuing to win fans over to the Italian marque's cause.

 

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